Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beefalo Milk Stout Beer Chili Recipe

Beef, buffalo meat, beans, and New Mexican chiles swimming in a broth made with Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout. What's not to like about this soul warming bowl of deliciousness? Check out the full recipe on Food Republic. In the meantime, here's a little step by step photo essay to get you in the big ole pot 'o chili makin' mood.
Brown your meats well in a hot pan.

Remove meats to a bowl and drain off most of the fat.

Chop your onions.
After sauteeing onions and garlic until translucent, return cooked meat to pan.
Now, check out how to prepare your dried chile.

Clean and soak chile in scalding water until soft, about 30 minutes, and then puree well.

Add canned tomatoes, spices and the pureed New Mexican chile to the meat mix.
Bring the meat mix up to a boil, scraping up the goodies off the bottom of the pan.
Then, very slowly pour in the stout.
Cook chili one hour. Then, add beans and tomato paste and cook another hour.
Serve chili with shredded cheddar, minced green onions, sour cream, chips or cornbread.

©2011 Fatback and Foie Gras. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival 2011

Bajan-style pork and potato roti
In less than a week, the 2011 Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival will be taking place November 18-21, and just like last year, there's a stellar line-up of chefs, seminars, cooking demo's, and of course, plenty of great Bajan food and local rum. Chefs Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Marcus Samuelsson will once again make appearances alongside local Barbadian favorite "The Rhum Chef" Paul Yellin, London chef Bruno Loubet, Vitor Gomes (Brazil), Mark McEwin and Tom Brodi (Canada), Food & Wine wine expert Anthony Giglio, and a whole host of other local Bajan chefs. And, the best part? It's not too late to buy tickets as there are still some left.
If this year's event is anything like the 2010 Food and Wine and Rum Fest it's going to be quite the party. Hosted again by Travel & Leisure mags Features Director, Nilou Motamed, the festival will again present an array of a la carte activities including a bevy of up-close-and-personal celebrity chef cooking demo's, rum tours, authentic Bajan-style lunch fiestas (see above photo), even a half day food and rum cruise hosted by Canadian Chef Tom Brodi. Other highlights include Ambrosia II, an all-you-can-savor evening extravaganza featuring food, wine and rum samplings from all of the event's guest chefs followed by the highly anticipated after party, Super Sonic, to be held at the museum home of the British Airways Concorde "Alpha Echo" where the original tarmac will be transformed into an all-night party complete with live DJ's food and drink.
The Bajan gods have shined on me again this year, and I will be returning to the Barbados food and rum fest to savor as much as humanly possible without blowing up my liver, so keep an eye out for future blog posts and Twitter updates and be sure to follow my onsite coverage of the event over at Food Republic. In the meantime, here's a little taste from last year's four day party.
Chef Marcus Samuelsson serves up his take on shrimp and red grits
Chef Ming Tsai's soba noodle sushi w/ tea smoked salmon
The national dish of Barbados: flying fish sandwich
Second national dish of Barbados: flying fish cakes
One of many "cutter" stands selling salt bread fish sandwiches
Bajan brunch: flying fish, stuffed pork, macaroni pie
What the heck! Come spend Thanksgiving week in Barbados. I'll be there.

©2011 Fatback and Foie Gras. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Parmesan Recipe

My first taste of broccoli rabe (a.k.a.broccoletti or rapini) was at my favorite Italian hole-in-the-wall Mamma Zu here in Richmond. After watching enormous platters of the garlic and olive oil-laden stuff go out to nearly all of the tables surrounding us, the aroma alone was enough to give it a try. And, holy crap was it good. Tender and a bit bitter with just the right amount of crunch on the stalky ends, the rabe was literally smothered in freshly minced garlic. A little squeeze of lemon and a few spins of the black pepper mill and I was in heaven.

It wasn't long before I sought out to recreate Mamma's version at home. I quickly learned that blanching the stalks in rapidly boiling, generously salted water and then shocking them in a water bath was key to an expertly tender stalk that still maintains just a smidgen of snap when it hits the teeth. I also learned that this step cannot be skipped (i.e. just throw it all in the pan with some olive oil) since the beauty of broccoli rabe is its inherent bitterness, yet at the same time this naturally pungent flavor can easily overwhelm the entire dish. Blanching the stalks for just a minute or two is enough to temper the bitter flavor and also get a jump start the cooking process.  

So, while I clearly had the blanching part down, for the life of me, I couldn't get my version to taste like Mamma's no matter how many various incarnations I tried when it came to the second step (sauteeing the rabe in aromatics). The beauty of Mamma's version is that it's quite generous on all ingredients: gobs of good quality olive oil, a ridiculous amount of garlic, sea salt city and more than a dash of crushed red pepper. Perhaps a splash of white wine as well? Only Mamma knows. When I attempted this combination in true Mamma Zu form, what I got was a gloppy, over seasoned, oil-soaked mess. Thank god I had some Billy Bread to salvage the dish and soak up my saucy nightmare.
Attempt number two yielded much better results as I went for a simpler, less overly oiled version. I guess you call this rip of Mamma's version a bit more refined. I kept the redonkulous amount of minced garlic part in, but I went much easier on the oil and left off the white wine completely, instead adding just a bit of fresh lemon juice. I seasoned generously with salt and pepper (and crushed red pepper) and threw in a couple sprinkles of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Turn out pretty darned good, I must say. In fact, I just *might* have made Mamma proud, although I seriously doubt it.

For any of you home cooks seeking a simple, flavorful, Italian restaurant-inspired dish that will most definitely give you some rocking good dragon breath, try this on for size:

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Parmesan

Serves 4

1 pound broccoli rabe
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Accompaniment: Sliced lemon wedges

Slice off the last 1-inch or so from the broccoli rabe stems and discard. Fill a 6 quart pot with water and a 1/2 tablespoon of salt, and bring up to a boil. Drop broccoli rabe into rapidly boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, or until barely tender. Remove broccoli rabe to a large bowl filled with ice water and submerge. Let fully cool, then drain well.

Preheat a large sauté pan. Add olive oil. Next, add garlic and crushed red pepper. Saute for one minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add broccoli rabe and sauté until just heated through.  Squeeze lemon juice over and sauté one more minute. Season generously with salt and pepper. Remove to a serving platter and sprinkle with grated cheese. Serve immediately with crusty bread for dipping.

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